Belfast travel agent shares most popular 2024 summer holiday destinations

Barrhead Travel have seen a January boom in bookings with ten destinations proving most sought after

  • 09:19, 20 JAN 2024

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A Belfast travel agent has revealed the ten most popular summer holiday destinations for people from Northern Ireland.

Barrhead Travel, based in Victoria Square in Belfast city centre, said they have noticed an early January boom in bookings for this summer , with ten destinations proving the most sought after.

All-inclusive holidays remain the most popular for summer 2024, accounting for more than 35% of bookings in the UK. But there is also a noticeable growth in cruising holidays amongst families and couples, with the number of holidaymakers under 40 choosing to cruise has grown by over 30% since 2019.

Read more: Belfast airport announces over 100 new jobs with recruitment fair to take place

Read more: Travel deals from Belfast for 2024 summer holidays and city breaks via TUI

Holidays focused around touring and adventure are up 110% from 2023, as well as solo travel (up 19% in 2023) and multi-generational bookings (up by 29% in 2023).

Barrhead Travel also noted that holidaymakers are seeking out longer breaks, with the average length of stay now at ten days - up from nine in 2023.

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The top destinations booked for 2024 so far include:

  • Med cruising from Southampton

Jacqueline Dobson, President of Barrhead Travel, said: "This time of year remains the most popular time to book a holiday. Cold weather, dark nights, and the festivities behind us, it’s clear that many people want something to look forward to.

"There has been a gradual trend of customers booking earlier – both to take advantage of early booking deals and discounts as well as to secure availability for their preferred date and destination. Getting the best value-for-money is top priority for people and we’re seeing a move towards all-inclusive breaks as well as cruising and escorted touring which have so much included in the price.

"We know how important holidays are to people, and we are seeing demand for multigenerational holidays continue to rise as people go away as part of a large family group to make the most of spending time together.

"From taking advantage of these early deals, to financial protection and general peace of mind, we’re seeing a mass return to reputable travel agents. This demonstrates just how important high street retail culture is and we hope it will continue to grow in 2024."

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For 43 years, Barrhead Travel has been helping people to plan their perfect trips. We’re the experts – the UK’s leading independent British travel agents, with an array of awards to our name. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best prices, impartial advice and the widest variety of holidays, combined with top-notch customer service.

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Barrhead Travel, Belfast, Named Top NI Travel Agent at TTG Top 50 Awards

Geoff Percival

Ireland – North and South – was well represented at the recent TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies Awards 2024 , which took place in Manchester last week and honoured the top agents across the UK and Ireland.

The Irish part of the awards were split between the Republic and Northern Ireland. As mentioned, elsewhere on ITTN/TNT today, Magic Vacations – the Kinsale-based theme park destination specialist won the top travel agency award for the Republic.

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Barrhead Travel, in Belfast, was named TTG’s Top Travel Agency for Northern Ireland .

Runners-up in the Republic category – which was sponsored by Jamaica – were Fahy Travel , in Galway; and Marble City Travel in Kilkenny.

Runners-up in the Northern Ireland category – which was sponsored by Attraction World – were Oasis Travel, Lisburn ; and Oasis Travel, Lisburn Road, Belfast .

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Barrhead Travel Belfast reports record-breaking January

S unshine Saturday – typically the first Saturday in January – initially became the agency’s highest ever day of sales, reporting a 20 percent increase on bookings from the previous year. This was quickly overtaken by the following three consecutive Saturdays (13th, 20th, 27th January) – making January 2024 the most successful in its history.

Last year, the group reported a record-breaking year and it expects similar trends of high demand to be sustained during 2024.

With recent poor weather and named storms hitting the UK, the travel agency saw a rush for holidays. Summer 2024 was the most popular season booked with last-minute getaways, particularly for warmer climates, accounting for around one in five bookings.

According to Barrhead Travel’s booking data, all-inclusive holidays remain the most popular type of holidays for the year ahead with 30 percent of customers choosing this as an option. Cruise holidays are also on the rise and Barrhead Travel say they have seen a significant increase of 25 percent for holidays at sea so far this year.

Following the surge in bookings, Barrhead Travel has revealed the top 10 most booked destinations so far:

  • Cruising from Southampton

Summer 2024 is making up over half of new bookings but the travel agent sys there is still “healthy” demand for late breaks accounting for one in five bookings in January.

The firm’s booking data indicates that holidaymakers are seeking out longer breaks, with the average length of stay now at ten days – up from nine in 2023. Holidaymakers are also choosing to upgrade both travel and hotels, with higher room categories and business class bookings seeing an increase by up to 30% compared with 2023.

Kelly Hutchinson, Store Manager of Barrhead Travel Belfast, said: “This January, we have seen record numbers of people locking in their holidays for the year ahead. It’s one of the best times of year to book with many operators, hotels and airlines having fantastic sales on. There are still brilliant offers in the market – we’ve got 100s of free child places and plenty of low deposit options still on sale.

“Demand has yet to slow down – we’re already off to a fantastic start in February. As well as continued interest in summer holidays, we’re starting to notice more last-minute enquiries for Easter school holidays coming through. Most customers we’re speaking to are telling us they hope to book several breaks this year, if they can.

“The desire to book with a travel agent is clearly on the rise and our experts are very excited to work with their customers to help their budget go as far as possible and get the holiday they’ve been dreaming of.”

Barrhead Travel’s retail network is open seven days a week until late as well as offering evening support through their online service, call centres and social media channels. Find your nearest Barrhead Travel store by visiting https://www.barrheadtravel.co.uk/storelocator

Barrhead Travel Belfast reports record-breaking January

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Barrhead Travel Belfast: Your Gateway to a Perfect Northern Irish Adventure!

Are you dreaming of a trip to Barrhead Travel Belfast , Northern Ireland? This vibrant city boasts a rich history, stunning scenery, and friendly locals. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Belfast has something to offer everyone.

But planning a trip can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to booking flights, hotels, and activities. That’s where Barrhead Travel Belfast comes in! As Belfast’s award-winning travel agent, Barrhead Travel offers a one-stop shop for all your travel needs.

Table of Contents

Why Choose Barrhead Travel Belfast?

There are many reasons to choose Barrhead Travel Belfast for your trip:

Local Expertise:

With a branch located right in the heart of Belfast, Barrhead Travel’s team has extensive knowledge of the city and surrounding areas. They can offer personalized recommendations and help you create a travel itinerary that perfectly suits your interests.

Award-Winning Service:

Barrhead Travel has been recognized for its outstanding service, winning the prestigious TTG Top Travel Agency for Northern Ireland award in 2024. You can be confident that you’ll receive friendly, helpful, and professional service throughout your travel planning process.

Wide Range of Options:

No matter your budget or travel style, Barrhead Travel has something for you. They offer a variety of holiday packages, flights, hotels, cruises, city breaks, and even foreign exchange.

Exclusive Deals:

Barrhead Travel has access to exclusive deals and packages that you won’t find anywhere else. This means you can save money and get the most out of your trip.

Planning Your Belfast Adventure with Barrhead Travel

Ready to start planning your Belfast adventure? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Contact Barrhead Travel Belfast: You can visit their store located in Belfast’s Victoria Square, call them by phone, or contact them through their website https://www.facebook.com/BarrheadTravelBelfast/?locale=en_GB .

Discuss Your Trip: Let the friendly travel experts at Barrhead Travel Belfast know about your interests, budget, and travel dates. They’ll take the time to understand your needs and preferences.

Get Personalized Recommendations: Based on your information, Barrhead Travel will recommend different options for flights, hotels, and activities.

Book Your Trip: Once you’ve found the perfect travel package or individual components, Barrhead Travel will take care of all the booking for you, saving you time and hassle.

Must-See Sights and Must-Do Activities in Belfast

Now that you’ve got the logistics covered, let’s explore some of the amazing things you can see and do in Belfast:

  • Titanic Belfast: Immerse yourself in the history of the RMS Titanic at this world-class museum https://tickets.titanicbelfast.com/ .
  • St. George’s Market: Browse the stalls of this historic market, where you can find everything from fresh produce to local crafts https://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/stgeorgesmarket .
  • Belfast City Hall: Admire the stunning architecture of Belfast City Hall, located in the heart of the city https://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/ .
  • Peace Walls: Learn about Belfast’s troubled past and the peace process with a visit to the Peace Walls, murals that were painted on walls throughout the city during the Troubles
  • Game of Thrones Tours: Explore filming locations from the hit TV series “Game of Thrones” with a guided tour https://gameofthronestours.com/ .
  • Causeway Coastal Route: Take a scenic drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world https://www.theirishroadtrip.com/the-causeway-costal-route/ .
  • Giant’s Causeway: Marvel at the natural wonder of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Bushmills Distillery: Tour the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world and sample some of their famous Irish whiskey https://bushmills.com/distillery/ .

Belfast for Every Budget

Belfast offers something for everyone, no matter your budget. Here are some tips for enjoying the city on a shoestring:

  • Free Walking Tours: Join a free walking tour of Belfast to learn about the city’s history and culture.
  • Public Transportation: Belfast has a good public transportation system, so you can easily get around the city without a car.
  • Picnics in the Park: Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it in one of Belfast’s many beautiful parks, such as Botanic Gardens or Ormeau Park.
  • Pub Fare: Belfast has a thriving pub scene, where you can enjoy a hearty meal and a pint of Guinness for a reasonable price.
  • Free Museums: Several museums in Belfast offer free admission, including the Ulster Museum https://www.ulstermuseum.org/ and the Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery https://www.belfastexposed.org/ .

Beyond Belfast: Exploring Northern Ireland

Belfast is a great base for exploring the rest of Northern Ireland. Here are a few suggestions for day trips:

  • Giant’s Causeway: As mentioned earlier, the Giant’s Causeway is a must-see. This natural wonder is located about an hour’s drive from Belfast.
  • Game of Thrones Filming Locations: Northern Ireland was a major filming location for the popular TV series “Game of Thrones.” Several companies offer tours of filming locations, such as Dark Hedges and Castle Ward.
  • Glens of Antrim: Take a scenic drive through the Glens of Antrim, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
  • Derry/Londonderry: Visit the historic city of Derry/Londonderry, known for its medieval walls and vibrant nightlife.

Booking Your Belfast Adventure with Barrhead Travel

Now that you’re excited about your trip to Belfast, it’s time to book your travel arrangements! Contact Barrhead Travel Belfast today and let their friendly travel experts help you create the perfect Northern Irish adventure. They can help you find the best deals on flights, hotels, and activities, and ensure that your trip is everything you dream of.

Here are some additional resources to help you plan your trip to Belfast:

  • Visit Belfast: https://www.youtube.com/visitbelfast – The official tourism website for Belfast.
  • Northern Ireland Tourist Board: https://discovernorthernireland.com/ – The official tourism website for Northern Ireland.

Final Thoughts

Belfast is a city that has something to offer everyone. With its rich history, stunning scenery, and friendly locals, Belfast is sure to become a favorite travel destination. So why wait? Start planning your Belfast adventure today with Barrhead Travel Belfast!

Additional Tips:

  • When packing for your trip to Belfast, be sure to pack for all types of weather. The weather in Belfast can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to pack layers.
  • Be sure to purchase travel insurance before you go. This will protect you in case of unexpected events, such as flight cancellations or medical emergencies.
  • Learn a few basic phrases in Irish Gaelic before you go. The locals will appreciate your effort!

I hope this blog post has helped you learn more about Belfast and Barrhead Travel Belfast. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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